A half-dozen Am Law 100 firms have landed roles on one of the year’s largest technology deals, Microsoft Corp.’s proposed $26.2 billion acquisition announced Monday of LinkedIn Corp.
Microsoft, which expects to close on its LinkedIn acquisition later this year, is being advised on the transaction by longtime legal adviser Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
Simpson Thacher corporate partners Alan Klein and Anthony Vernace are representing Microsoft on the deal, along with employment partner Gregory Grogan, finance partner William Brentani, IP partner Lori Lesser, tax partner Jonathan Goldstein and derivatives partner Joyce Xu. All are based in New York, except Brentani, who works out of Palo Alto.
Also participating were New York senior counsel Adeeb Fadil, New York counsels Krista McManus and Aimee Adler and Palo Alto counsel Marcela Robledo and New York associates William Allen,Grady Chang, Kathryn Crumbaugh, Michael Chao, Nadine Mompremier, Monisha Bhayana, William Smolinski, Rachel Stein, Noreen Lavan, Lihua Chen and Shimeng Cheng and Palo Alto associate Amber Harezlak.
Klein, co-head of Simpson Thacher’s M&A practice, led a similar team from the firm that advised Microsoft on its $7.2 billion buy of Nokia Oyj’s mobile phone business in 2013.
Charles “Rick” Rule, head of the antitrust and litigation groups at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, where he serves as managing partner of the firm’s office in Washington, D.C., is serving as antitrust clearance counsel to longtime client Microsoft, along with technology industry co-head Jonathan Kanter and antitrust partner Amy Ray. Cadwalader worked with Simpson Thacher in advising Microsoft on the Nokia deal in 2013 and the company’s $8.5 billion buy of Skype in 2011.
Latham & Watkins is providing antitrust counsel Microsoft in the European Union through partners Lars Kjolbye in Brussels and Hanno Kaiser in San Francisco.
Mountain View, California-based LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network with more than 433 million users worldwide, has turned to longtime legal adviser Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for counsel on its sale to Microsoft.
Wilson Sonsini corporate partners Katharine Martin and Martin Korman are leading a 37-lawyer team representing LinkedIn, which previously tapped the Silicon Valley stalwart to handle its $405 million initial public offering in 2011. Wilson Sonsini also handled a secondary offering for LinkedIn in 2013. Martin, who is based in Palo Alto, California, played a key role on LinkedIn’s IPO. Korman, who works out of Palo Alto and San Francisco, serves as head of Wilson Sonsini’s M&A group.
Other Wilson Sonsini lawyers working on the deal with Microsoft include M&A partners Bradley Finkelstein and Douglas Schnell; technology transactions partners Selwyn Goldberg and T.J. Graham; employee benefits and executive compensation partners John Aguirre and Scott McCall; tax partner Ivan Humphreys; finance partners Michael Occhiolini and Erik Franks; litigation partners Boris Feldman and Elizabeth Peterson; regulatory and compliance partners Josephine Aiello LeBeau and Donald Vieira; corporate governance partners William Chandler III and Amy Simmerman; real estate partner James McCann and counsel Kimberly McMorrow; employment of counsel Jason Storck and privacy and data protection of counsel Matthew Staples.
Michael Callahan, a former in-house legal chief at Yahoo Inc., has served as LinkedIn’s general counsel since being hired by the company two years ago.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represents LinkedIn on antitrust aspects in connection with its acquisition by Microsoft. The team includes San Francisco partner Joel Sanders, DC partner Joshua Soven, Brussels partner David Wood, San Francisco associate Kevin Yen and Brussels associate Attila Borsos.
Davis Polk & Wardwell has picked up a role representing Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners in its role as financial adviser to LinkedInt. Alan Denenberg, a corporate partner who took over earlier this year as head of Davis Polk’s Silicon Valley office, is representing Qatalyst.